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Rochester, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | INDIE

Rochester, Minnesota, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2003
Solo Hip Hop Pop




"Rapper recounts hardships in debut CD"

His deep voice sounds strong and confident as Maurice "NoTrace" Blount raps "Pops was one step from getting it, now give me the ball, let me run with it" in the song "No More Pain."

The song, and rest of the 24-year-old Rochester rapper's recently released solo debut CD, is a testament to his desire to make his mark in hip-hop in order to help his family.

"This is payback. I want to try to make it in music for him," Blount said of his father, Charles Maurice Sr., 53, who died Sunday. "Music is the biggest connection that we had."

Music has also been Blount's lifeline through years of hardships.

As a child, Blount lived in the south side of Chicago, in an area known as the Wild 100s, which is devastated by drugs, violence and gangs. As Blount entered his early teens and became more aware of his surroundings, his family moved to St. Charles where his older sister lived.

The simple life in small-town Minnesota, however, soured when Blount was about 15 years old and his parents' relationship fell apart. He said his mother was gone a lot and his father started having serious health problems, including a couple of strokes that left him disabled and in a nursing home in Rochester.

Blount stayed at the family's St. Charles apartment on his own, but soon had to give it up, he said. At age 17 he found himself homeless. While he stayed with friends and later his sister and tried to finish high school, he said he ended up dropping out his senior year to work.

To deal with it all, Blount said he turned to writing music.

He'd listened to Tupac Shakur growing up, but said he didn't connect emotionally with any newer music, so he wrote his own.

"I write about everything that's going on. It's my way to vent, to let everything out, off my chest," Blount said.

Among his lyrics are descriptions of his parents' struggle to provide for their family. "I write what I know," he said. "I don't do the bling-bling thing, because I don't have that. I wouldn't write about it anyway. I stick to what's real."

Yet, most of his songs emanate a party or club vibe as he dreams about the future and what could be.

Blount got a glimpse of the limelight when he teamed up with two other rappers, NoMercy and Ovadose, who he met in high school and rapped with under the name Silent Predatorz. Through the help of a club promoter and booking agent who Blount knew in Chicago, Blount said Silent Predatorz opened for Young Buck, 50 Cent and Ruff Ryder artist Jin at a concert five years ago in Detroit.

That lead Blount on a quest for fame.

His father had done the same at a young age. He played bass in a group with his brothers who were scheduled to audition for Curtis Mayfield when several tragedies struck, including the death of Blount Sr.'s brother.

Blount, however, is determined to take the next step.

His CD, "This One's On Me," is available for free through his MySpace page as a way for Blount to get his name out and music heard.

Although it was expensive to use professionally produced beats, record at Woodshed Studios in Rochester, have CDs pressed and shoot a video with director Jay Todd, Blount sees it as an investment in not only his future, but that of his family.

- Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN


SP 2000 SP 2002
Solo Promo Album 2009 "This Ones On Me"
Debut Album " Heavy Heart" June 14th 2011



Label: NTE Music Group

Style: Forward-thinking Hip Hop infused with Pop, R&B and Dance elements

Hes a quiet, reserved and almost shy man. If he chooses not to speak, he can slip away from a room, leaving no trace of his presence at all. But when NoTrace gets on the mic, its an entirely different story.


A native of Chicago, NoTrace was born into a musical family that included a bass playing father, singing uncles, and a familial tie to the all female soul and R&B group The Emotions. His earliest memories are of family parties where, despite his acute shyness, he and his sister would perform for tips, carving their own names into the familys musical tree. But childhood wasnt all free and easy. Battling the elements of Chicago streets led NoTrace to follow his older sister to Minnesota.


Minnesota was a culture shock for the city boy, but the more rural setting was suited to NoTraces relaxed demeanor and gave him the space he needed to grow as a musician and artist. He again learned to overcome his shyness, joining in on freestyle sessions with his fellow high school students. He began developing his unique style, incorporating elements of the southern emcees hed listened to in Chicago with the broad ranging musical styles he was being exposed to in his new home.

He also took a look at the violent and negative elements that had played a role in his childhood and vowed that his would be a voice of positive change. His steadfast determination to rise above the circumstances of his surroundings and to overcome his reserved nature is a running theme through his music. His tracks resonate with an independent spirit that allows him to connect with people from all walks of life.


NoTrace quickly caught the ears of Minnesotas Hip Hop community. He joined the multi-cultural group SP (Silent Predatorz) and went on the road, touring as both a performer and a producer. The group opened for Young Buck, 50 Cent and Jin, among others, and headlined in a number of cities, including Detroit, Minneapolis & St. Paul, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

In 2010, NoTraces self-released promo album entitled This Ones On Me garnered even more popular reception, earning him accolades from the local press and catching the attention of several music executives. A freestyle mixtape he recorded just for fun bolstered his reputation and he produced the digital-only release Heavy Heart, which received local airplay and earned modest sales based solely on word of mouth.


NoTrace now runs NTE Music Group, which serves as a platform for his full-time music career. In addition to working on his own music, NoTrace also writes and produces for others, performs voiceovers, and secures placement for his catalog of work.

His new self-titled album will be available this summer. Two singles and a video will be released to TV, Radio, Press and Digital Media in the coming months.


Band Members